Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
At the age of 17 FN had a religious experience that convinced her she was to have a life of service to God. From that point, she sought to be trained as a nurse or in the administration of an institution like a hospital.
As one would expect, her upper middle class family tried to...more
This very well researched and documented biography of Florence Nightingale gives the reader an intimate look into the family, the culture, and the times that shaped the life and character of Florence Nightingale. The author pulls extensively from the voluminous correspondence to and from Miss Nightingale to give a fuller, richer portrait of the "Lady with the Lamp." The severe restrictions on Victorian women, the entail of the family estate, and a call from God to ser...more
First of all, pay attention to that subtitle. Gill focuses heavily on Nightingale's parents, her childhood, and her young adulthood. Out of 21 chapters, we don't reach the Crimea until chapter 15. Once we leave the Crimea, less that fifty pages (two chapters) are given to the second half of Nightingale's life from 1856 to 1910: the decades of her incredible writing campaigns and her ambitious programs of reform. Once Nightingale wins...more
Presented a more just view of her mother and sister, I felt.
She had a harsh governess and was away from her parents a good deal for about 2 1/2 years before age 10. She felt from a young age she was different, in a bad way, and was afraid of making mistakes in front of people.
Wanted to impress her parents. Did not fe...more
The book begins with a detailed genealogy of Flo's parents and their families... which seemed boring to me but does have relevance later in Flo's life. One of the major familial themes has to do with the inheritance law in Great Britain at the time - since women coul...more
The author's writing style was just God-awful! The author could not make a point without re-iterating and re-iterating and re-iterating... "No lady in the land could vote like her husband, enter Parliament like her father, join the India Office like her brother, preach from the pulpit like her nephew, or serve as justice of the peace like th...more
"Through the facts [Nightingale] always saw lives," writes Gill, author of books on Agatha Christie and Mary Baker Eddy. Such is also true of Gill, who abandons historical speculation in favor of fastidious reliance on diaries and letters from Nightingale's family, friends, and colleagues. Although one of many existing biographies, Nightingales is one of the first to thoroughly examine the relationship between her public and private life. Besides vividly evoking Austenesque mores, Gill creates f...more
"Florence in particular, from an astonishingly early age, seems to have been writing for an audience." pg 81
I would love to know what happened to Felicetta Sensi. The fact that Florence got her enrolled in school and payed for her education out of her dress money really tell you what an amazing Christian lady Florence was.
Truly astonishing, to see the understanding Florence had of epidemilology before she even knew what a germ was. pg.334
An organized w...more
Make no mistake, there is plenty of interesting material here. I was never interested in Nightingale as a biographical subject until I read some of Elizabeth Gaskell's work (she was Nightingale's contemporary). I found myself moved by what happened to Nightingale durin...more